In legislative parlance, the word is often used to signify the evil or danger which a statute is intended to cure or avoid. In the phrase “malicious mischief,” (which see,) it imports a wanton or reckless injury to persons or property.
Mischief to property is a general intent offence.
A few defences to this charge is legal justification or excuse and colour of right. The Defendant must show that s/he believed in a state of facts which, if actually existed, would constitute a legal justification or excuse.
Mens Rea – Mental Element of the Defences:
Colour of right is based on the Defendant’s subjective, honest belief that at the time of the offence, s/he had a colour of right. While the belief does not have to be reasonable, the reasonableness of the belief is a factor in determining if there is an honest belief.
The colour of right does not include errors of fact and law.
430 (1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully
(b) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;
(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or
(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
Mischief in relation to computer data
(1.1) Everyone commits mischief who wilfully
(b) renders computer data meaningless, useless or ineffective;
(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use of computer data; or
(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with a person in the lawful use of computer data or denies access to computer data to a person who is entitled to access to it.
(2) Every one who commits mischief that causes actual danger to life is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.
(3) Every one who commits mischief in relation to property that is a testamentary instrument or the value of which exceeds five thousand dollars
(4) Every one who commits mischief in relation to property, other than property described in subsection (3),